Best post-lockout Ranger: Round 1, Brad Richards (7) vs. Martin Biron (10)August 6, 2013, by
As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Yesterday we saw #6 Petr Prucha beat #11 Paul Mara. Today’s matchup is #7 Brad Richards vs. #10 Martin Biron.
Brad Richards (acquired – 2011 unrestricted free agent)
Richards came on board with the Rangers in July of 2011, signing a nine-year back-loaded deal that many assumed would not be worth it towards the end of the contract. His first year wasn’t bad, putting up 25 goals and 66 points, but his second season was an unmitigated disaster. Clearly unprepared for the lockout shortened season, Richards looked slow, sluggish, and lost. That said, his point totals weren’t exactly terrible, putting up 11-23-34 in 44 games. In his first two seasons, Richards has a line of 36-64-100 in 128 games. That’s not exactly horrible.
Richards was the subject of many buyout rumors this summer, but the Rangers decided to keep him around. Even in this market, a 65 point center is tough to find for $6.6 million.
Martin Biron (acquired – 2010 unrestricted free agent)
When the Rangers signed Biron, many regarded it as a move that would go undervalued and under appreciated. Signed to take the load off Henrik Lundqvist, Biron plays about 20 games per season in a full year, although the number of starts changes based on the seasonal situation. For example, he only started six games last season while the Rangers were fighting for a playoff spot. In his three seasons, Biron has been a steady backup, playing to about a 2.30 GAA and a .910 SV%.
So who do you think is the better Ranger, Richards or Biron? Vote thumbs up for the higher seed (Richards), or thumbs down for the lower seed (Biron). Voting ends at midnight tonight.